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Recalling Dive Bar, Downtown Crossing, 1982

Greg B Aug 9, 2007 08:39 AM

Please bear with me but I'm trying to remember the name of a place from a trip to Boston to see the Red Sox 25 years ago... any assistance much appreciated.

We were wandering around downtown, visited Filene's and a few other places in Downtown Crossing, when we decided to get some lunch. I recall wandering up a slight hill in what looked like an alley to an old-style bar -- long and narrow, with the bar on the left, a few tables crowded near the front and along the other side, dark and old-looking. It might have had an Irish-type name but don't hold me to that. It didn't look promising but we persevered and found a table among the crowd. I recall having what was a surprisingly good meal and a fun time.

Can anyone help me with the name of the place? Any chance it is still around?

  1. t
    Tucker23 Nov 3, 2013 07:48 AM

    How about the littlest bar on Bromfield St

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tucker23
      LeoLioness Nov 3, 2013 08:50 AM

      Would you call the Littlest "long"?

      1. re: LeoLioness
        Allstonian Nov 3, 2013 10:13 AM

        The Littlest Bar was already suggested and dismissed (because it wasn't long and didn't serve food) in 2007, when this thread first started: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/429520#2833617

        At that time, Greg B, the person who first posted this question, agreed that the suggestion that it was probably Penn's Pub, on Bromfield Street: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4295...

    2. FinnFPM Nov 15, 2012 07:39 AM

      Am I nuts, or did OP already decide it was called Penn's Pub?

      This must be what Sidebar used to be.

      1. Bob Dobalina Nov 15, 2012 07:33 AM

        What about the space that is the Barracuda Tavern on Bosworth Street? Next to the Marliave.
        If you are coming from the Marliave, you walk up that staircase, and down the alley, there it is on the left.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Bob Dobalina
          9lives Nov 15, 2012 07:45 AM

          Barracuda Tavern is the old Hank's; mentioned upthread.

          1. re: 9lives
            Bob Dobalina Nov 15, 2012 07:52 AM

            I'm confused, because the street with the Orpheum is not Bosworth Street. It's Hamilton Place, down a block.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina
              9lives Nov 15, 2012 08:21 AM

              I was mistaken in my post of 8/9/07 as to the location re Orpheum.

              Marliave and Barracuda (fka Hank's) are on Bosworth.

              Hamilton Pl, and the Orpheum are 2 blocks South and parallel..Bromfield between them.

              Thx for the excuse to get a pastrami at Sam La Grassa's..:)

              1. re: 9lives
                Bob Dobalina Nov 15, 2012 08:24 AM

                Cool. So what's the deal with Barracuda? How does that place stay open?

                1. re: Bob Dobalina
                  9lives Nov 15, 2012 08:40 AM

                  No insight as to what's going on there. Stopped in once for a beer. Fun looking place..sort of a FL Keys type atmosphere.

                  I think I recall a few pos comments on CH from others re lunch.

                  1. re: 9lives
                    Allstonian Nov 15, 2012 09:09 AM

                    Yes, here:
                    and here:

                    1. re: Allstonian
                      Bob Dobalina Nov 15, 2012 11:05 AM

                      Ah, the trusty search function - thanks!

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina
                        ebone Nov 15, 2012 11:06 AM

                        Barracuda does have a nice bottled beer selection, but I can't speak for the food.

                  2. re: Bob Dobalina
                    Riderx139 Nov 17, 2012 02:33 AM

                    The new place opened 2 years ago, the liquor license was in litigation for some time, the locals are starting to come back, but most now go to the Pub on the corner of Bosworth and Tremont. The food is good at the B ( old hanks) but the crowds a little yuppy not Townie

                    1. re: Riderx139
                      devilham Nov 17, 2012 05:18 AM

                      I had lunch there once, and while it wasn't awful, I am not intending to go back (too many other better places to eat to bother)

          2. r
            Riderx139 Nov 15, 2012 07:01 AM

            I would have to say Hanks Pub. If you walked up a flight of steps, the bar was a l shaped bar starting at the stairs. Hanks had great food, it was owned by the Connick family. It was actually a connected bar and many of the patrons were well known by the police in Boston. It closed in 2000s after a raid. Great place from a time gone by! I knew it well

            1. n
              nincyh Aug 10, 2007 01:38 PM

              PJ Foleys?

              Everything fits but the "had a suprisingly good meal there" part...

              1. p
                phonelady Aug 10, 2007 12:59 PM

                Could it have been the infamous Blue Sands?

                3 Replies
                1. re: phonelady
                  passing thru Aug 10, 2007 01:54 PM

                  the blue sands was really, really great. that place was so cheap, one of the waitresses there once snarled at me for tipping her too much.

                  1. re: passing thru
                    trufflehound Oct 30, 2013 09:45 PM


                  2. re: phonelady
                    rich patina Nov 2, 2013 06:46 AM

                    a moment of silence is in order whenever the blue sands name is invoked. whoever is responsible for the demise of the blue sands will spend eternity as an unpaid lavatory attendant in my afterlife.

                  3. Small Plates Aug 9, 2007 07:41 PM

                    Penn's Pub on Bromfield Street - halfway up on the left (facing Tremont Street)???

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Small Plates
                      trufflehound Aug 10, 2007 06:04 AM

                      Was thr bar on the left there? And, it was previously Bromfield Tavern.

                      1. re: trufflehound
                        edgewater Aug 10, 2007 11:51 AM

                        I was also thinking Penn's Pub but I thought I remembered the bar being on the right.

                      2. re: Small Plates
                        Greg B Aug 10, 2007 12:04 PM

                        I think Penn's Pub is it. Is it still in business?

                        Thanks for the info.

                        1. re: Greg B
                          kate used to be 50 Aug 10, 2007 12:07 PM

                          I'd bet the bar you are talking about is the Littlest Bar, which unfortunately is no longer.

                          1. re: kate used to be 50
                            joestrummer Aug 10, 2007 12:24 PM

                            Couldn't have been the Littlest.

                            No food and while narrow, I don't think anyone would have called it long.

                      3. sailormouth Aug 9, 2007 07:03 PM

                        You're just remembering it now? Must've been quite an evening.

                        1. hiddenboston Aug 9, 2007 08:53 AM

                          The Province Pub? If so, it was definitely a dive. The only time I went there, some guy with a beard down to his stomach looked up from the bar the second we walked in, yelled "HEY!" then got up and started chasing us, right out of the bar. We ran all the way to the end of the block when we heard him yell, "HEY--ya got a match?"

                          Ahhh, memories....

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: hiddenboston
                            9lives Aug 9, 2007 09:03 AM

                            Is that the Hub Pub now?

                            1. re: 9lives
                              hiddenboston Aug 9, 2007 09:14 AM

                              I believe so, though it has been a long time, so my brain is a bit foggy as to where exactly it was on Province Street.

                              1. re: hiddenboston
                                joestrummer Aug 9, 2007 10:45 AM

                                The Hub Pub used to be Friar Tuck's in the 80's I believe. Not sure if it also had an incarnation as Province.

                                1. re: joestrummer
                                  devilham Oct 31, 2013 07:09 AM

                                  I remember Friar Tuck's, and the OP's description fits the bill (long bar to the left), there was also seating upstairs too...they had a solid burger back in the day, nothing to right home about, but not garbage.

                          2. 9
                            9lives Aug 9, 2007 08:51 AM

                            Could it have been Hank's? on the short street that lead to the Orpheum..a true dive..can't speak for the food..not unusual to see 1 or more patrons passed out atthe bar or tables

                            No longer there.

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